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Title:Transnational Market and Community: The Social Relations of Kaqchikel Maya Vendors
Author(s):Little, Walter Edward
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Saul, Mahir
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:Maya handicrafts vendors are commonly seen selling at Guatemala's tourism sites. They are the subjects of postcards, guidebooks, and tourism brochures. Most often they are the only Mayas with whom tourists meet and interact. These vendors work and live most often within a tourism borderzone where Guatemalan state hegemony and national identity are weak and the meaning of Mayaness is constructed by international tourism agencies and tourists, the Guatemalan government at local and national levels, and Mayas themselves. This dissertation focuses on the social lives and work of Kaqchikel Maya vendors of handicrafts, commonly known as tipica in Guatemala, in order show how they are affected by and interact within this transnational tourism borderzone. First, it describes the social relations, commentaries, and problems of tipica vendors in Antigua, Guatemala, showing how they use the transnational tourism market, their interactions with tourists, and multiple, often conflicting concepts of Maya identity in strategic and tactical ways to maneuver within Guatemala's political and economic terrain. Although Maya tipica vendors tend to just work in Antigua and other tourism sites in Guatemala, they maintain strong interrelationships with their hometowns. In particular, this dissertation focuses on two towns, San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Santa Catarina Palopo because these have been integrated into international tourism circuits for most of the 20th Century. The residents of these towns have grown up within the tourism borderzone. Finally, by attending to the concerns of vendors and their social lives beyond the marketplace, it illustrates the ways that international tourism has affected them at the level of household gender relations, transforming some of the gender roles typically performed by men and woman. At the town level, participation in tourism has reinvigorated Maya cultural practices and elevated community respect accorded to women.
Issue Date:2001
Description:395 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9996654
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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